Paddy McLaughlin admits there’s no pressure on Cliftonville tonight, but says he and his players are relishing the opportunity to make more Europa League history.
After registering a Club record European win with a 4-0 Preliminary Round success over Barry Town United a fortnight ago, the Reds will bid to turn a home deficit around for the very first time on the continental stage when they square up with Haugesund once again.
Trailing 1-0 from last week’s opening encounter at Solitude, McLaughlin believes the positivity his men exuded in that performance can stand them in good stead for the challenge in Norway this evening.
“We’re going to be up against it and we’re big underdogs, especially being away from home, but I know the players can’t wait to go out and give it a go,” he says.
“There were a lot of positives to take out of our performance last week and the only thing missing from it was a goal. We had a few chances but things just wouldn’t drop for us. If we can play the same way again, as difficult as that will be away from home, then we’ve definitely got a chance.
“It will be much tougher in the second game, there’s no doubt about that. We won’t have the same number of fans there and Haugesund’s own supporters will be expecting them to win easily, but we know we have to score if we’re going to stay in the tie and that’s what we’ll be aiming to do.”
Cliftonville fans unable to attend this evening’s fixture are reminded that a live broadcast will be screened in the Social Club at Solitude, with kick-off at 6pm (7pm Norwegian time).